County News

County official testifies on election security

Ricky Hatch, Weber County, Utah, listens to comments about his testimony July 24 on Capitol Hill. Photo by Hugh Clarke

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Weber County Clerk/Auditor Ricky Hatch outlined county role in election security, offered recommendations to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Ricky Hatch, clerk/auditor for Weber County, Utah, testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform July 24 to discuss the role counties play in ensuring safe and efficient elections.

Hatch outlined the vital role counties play in administering and securing elections, including overseeing the allocation of voting machines, managing polling locations, printing and mailing ballots, recruiting and training poll workers, and protecting voting machines, computers and other equipment used to cast, record, tally and certify votes.

“Elections are not just a one-day event for counties,” Hatch told the committee. “From a cybersecurity standpoint, we work year-round to protect against direct hacking attempts that seek to improperly access voter rolls, remove election information from county websites, or alter voting data.”

He shared recommendations to better protect the elections infrastructure:

  • Support a dedicated, predictable federal funding stream to help local governments protect elections and prevent funds from stalling at the state level
  • Pursue additional coordinated federal and state outreach to local jurisdictions, especially those that are remote and rural, and
  • Undertake a robust federalism consultation process with states and local governments when considering any changes to election cybersecurity protocols.
  • Hatch stressed the uniquely local role of elections and the importance of including counties in future cybersecurity efforts. “All elections are local,” he said. “We stand ready to work with you, federal agencies and our states to strengthen our nation’s elections process and retain the public’s confidence.”
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